Cork 2-18 Limerick 1-16
CORK have moved from Division 2 relegation strugglers to All-Ireland quarter-finalists after a gritty win over Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.
It was an eventful second half during which Limerick lost Gordon Brown to a costly black card and Cork prospered by adding 1-3 without response to lead by 1-13 to 0-10 after 52 minutes.
Cathail O’Mahony scored a brilliant goal, cutting in from the right and backing himself to finish off good approach work by Ian Maguire and McSweeney.
Limerick replied with a super goal of their own from Brian Donovan just before the hour seemed to haul Limerick back into contention at 1-15 to 1-12 with Aidan Enright cutting the margin with an immediate point.
Cork then lost substitute Paul Walsh to a second yellow card in less than a minute, but the 14-men rallied to create a penalty opportunity in the 65th minute.
A flowing move led to dynamic corner-back Kevin O’Donovan dragged to the ground by Paul Maher and Brian Hurley tucked it away with a low shot to the left corner.
Cork coped with nearly seven minutes added-on time, happy to answer Limerick scores with Hurley, Colm O’Callaghan and Damien Gore obliging.
Cork had only a slender one-point to their name after playing with the howling wind from the start.
Steven Sherlock’s importance to the cause was again reflected in the opening 35 minutes as he contributed six of the eight points with John O’Rourke and Eoghan McSweeney completing the list.
Limerick, who kicked six wides, two more than Cork, enjoyed a greater spread with Enright prominent, helping himself to three from play.
The rivals were level four times, a reflection of the visitors’ tenacity and willingness to take the game to their hosts.
After Sherlock pointed twice, Limerick responded with two from Brown and Robbie Bourke before Enright nudged the Shannonsiders in front for the first time after 10 minutes.
O’Rourke cancelled it out shortly after only for Limerick to add another brace, courtesy of a Bourke free and a fine effort from Enright, 0-5 to 0-3 after 16 minutes.
Cork created a goal chance when Hurley picked out Dan Dineen, but he picked the ball off the ground and the opportunity was lost.
The home side then hit a purple patch, firing three unanswered points, two from Sherlock and the other from McSweeney after O’Donovan did well to punch the ball away one-handed at the other end.
Limerick restored parity for a fourth time, however, with a Cian Sheehan point, but he conceded a free on the call of half-time for a foul on Hurley and Sherlock nailed it, 0-8 to 0-7.
The pair were level three more times on the resumption as Cork began to trouble the visiting defence with the strong runs from deep by the outstanding Sean Powter, O’Donovan and wing-backs John Cooper and Mattie Taylor.
The scoring contributions of McSweeney and O’Rourke, 0-5 between them, helped greatly to take the pressure off the inside trio, who availed of 2-10 between them.
S Sherlock 0-8 (0-5 f, 0-1 45), B Hurley 1-2 (1-0 pen), C O’Mahony 1-0, J O’Rourke 0-3, E McSweeney 0-2, K O’Donovan, C O’Callaghan, D Gore 0-1 each.
H Bourke 0-5 (0-4 f), A Enright 0-4, B Donovan 1-0, J Ryan, G Brown 0-2 each, C Sheehan, R Bourke, J Naughton 0-1 each.
MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); S Powter (Douglas), M Shanley (Clonakilty), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers); J Cooper (Éire Óg), R Maguire (Castlehaven), M Taylor (Mallow); C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), I Maguire (St Finbarr’s); J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), E McSweeney (Knocknagree), D Dineen (Cill na Martra); S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), B Hurley (Castlehaven, c), C O’Mahony (Mitchelstown).
J Cahalane (Castlehaven) for Dineen 53, P Walsh (Kanturk) for McSweeney 60, C Kiely (Ballincollig) for Sherlock 68, D Gore (Kilmacabea) for O’Mahony 70, T Walsh (Kanturk) for O’Donovan injured 73.
D O’Sullivan (jc); J Liston, B Fanning, M Donovan; C Sheehan, I Corbett (jc), G Brown; D Treacy, C Fahy; A Enright, B Donovan, P de Brun; P Nash, R Bourke, H Bourke.
J Naughton for de Brun half-time, J Ryan for Nash, P Maher for Brown and M Donovan for Liston 55, K Ryan for R Bourke 66.
J Henry (Mayo).